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A new grant listed on GrantWatch is due on December 15, 2016: Grants to USA Nonprofits and Individuals for Breast Health Care, Research, and Patient Education. These are grants of up to $5,000 to US nonprofits, health organizations and individuals to improve the standard of care for breast disease patients through patient education, advancing breast disease research, programs and services to health care providers and patients. Grants will be awarded in four categories: Education, Conference, Community Outreach and Research - all related to patient breast care or patient education.

Read about a grant awarded in Illinois that aimed itself at providing women with no health insurance or high deductibles, with paid mammograms. Through the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP) grant, women spanning 5 counties can now get free mammograms. 

State Grants Raise Awareness on Breast Cancer Prevention

By Matt Dutton, Herald-Whig

CARTHAGE, Ill. -- Since her sister was first diagnosed 17 years ago, breast cancer has always been an important cause for Alice Dean.

Dean was one of a dozen women present Wednesday evening for Hancock County Health Department's Think Pink Palooza at the Carthage Senior Center. The culmination of the department's activity challenge, Think Pink Palooza offered a free meal and tips to a healthier lifestyle.

"I'm just a big supporter of breast cancer awareness. There are so many people that don't go every year," Dean said of annual mammograms. "I never miss one."

Dean was a member of one of the six teams that completed the activity challenge. Every individual participating was given a pedometer, and team totals were regularly posted through the challenge, encouraging competition.

"I walk my granddog every night, but when I knew I had it on me I would walk even farther," Dean said. "It was a good challenge."

The winning team, Curffman Caboose Cutters walked 8,152,352 steps during the 12-week challenge. The challenge was part of the overall 18-month "Ticket for the Cure" grant.

"Breast cancer prevention has to do with lifestyle choices," said Carla Fink, RN case manager for the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP). "We're just trying to get everyone to be more active. As long as you're making healthier choices, then you are already at less of a risk."

Through the IBCCP, a separate yet aligned grant, Hancock County Health Department is able to help women without health insurance or high deductibles pay for their mammograms. The grant covers Adams, Brown, Hancock, Pike and Scott counties.

"This program is a wonderful, wonderful thing," Fink said. "I just would like to get the word out to more people and get them in to use it."

With the state of Illinois' budget impasse, the availability of state-funded grants, such as the IBCCP, has become much less certain. While the grant was scaled down, Hancock County Health Department has continued to receive it through the financial crisis.

"We still serve quite a few women. We hit our case load this year," said Marla Jacquot, LPN for the grant. "They have always been up front with us. The amount of money we receive has descreased, but it hasn't stopped."

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the need for the grant has also tapered, although it has not entirely diminished. The reduction in funding was evened out by the decrease in demand created by the Affordable Care Act.

"Even with the Affordable Care Act though, there are people who still can't afford the premiums. There is definitely still a demand," Jacquot said. "It's not just women in poverty. It's every day women who are doing the best they can, We're glad that we can help them."